Perfect Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Maple Frosting starts with a cake mix making it SO light and fluffy. And the frosting is a stunning browned butter maple buttercream. Fall perfection!
I don’t know about you but fall can’t come soon enough. I am beyond ready to ditch the shorts and all the sweating for sweaters and leggings. I spent the past weekend in Florida and how those people just don’t melt away into a puddle of sunshine, I will never figure out.
Now that I am safely back in NJ where autumn is right around the corner I feel my pleasing personality returning. You might say, sweating makes me a little cranky.
Anyhow, to get me in the fall spirit, I decided to make a cake that makes you want to get your scarf and blanket ready. This one starts with a cake mix, so it’s super easy and has that unmistakable soft texture, plus the frosting is a dream come true. I kid you not, this frosting is RIDICULOUS.
Like I said the cake batter is simple…you start with a yellow cake mix and add in a few extras, like canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
While the cake is baking go ahead and brown your butter. You will need to do this ahead, because once the butter is browned, you will need to chill it, so it’s no longer melted. You can easily do this way in advance, because once it’s chilled (and solid) you will need to bring it back to room temperature so you can whip it for the frosting.
I know this sounds complicated….melt it, chill it, room-temperature-it… but it’s totally easy. Like I said, you can brown your butter way ahead and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it!
The frosting is simply the browned butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup!
I had to “level” my cakes with a serrated knife a small bit, so they stacked nicely. I highly encourage you to eat any extra cake pieces that you cut off. It is a well known fact that these are, indeed, the best pieces of the cake.
Also, note the picture looks like I poked holes in my cake…
I didn’t. The cake just had some air bubbles that never worked themselves out. Totally no biggie.
Also, you can absolutely cover this cake with frosting…I just prefer the “naked cake” look, with just a filling and a layer on top!
And you know if you happen to have some really good maple syrup, why not give it an extra drizzle?!
This cake should definitely be on your fall baking list!
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (like Libby's canned pumpkin)
- ½ cup milk
- ⅓ cup oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 2 8- inch round pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper cut to fit, and spray again. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the cake mix, pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice. Mix on low to combine for 30 seconds and then turn the mixer up to medium and continue mixing for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Divide the batter between the two pans evenly and bake for 25-35 minutes until the centers of the cake is set and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool on a wire rack until cooled completely.
- While the cake is baking place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted and begins to boil begins swirling (or stirring) the pan to prevent the fat solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Continue cooking the butter until it becomes a deep amber color. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. Place the pan in the refrigerator so the butter chills and becomes solid again.
- When you're ready to make your frosting remove the butter from the fridge and allow the butter to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to take the chill off.
- Scrape the browned butter into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Turn the mixer to low and add in the powdered sugar.
- Slowly add in the maple syrup and turn the mixer up to medium to mix until creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Level one of the cakes with a serrated knife. Place this layer on a cake plate. Top this layer with a little less than half of the frosting and smooth with an off-set spatula. Place the remaining cake on top and top that with the rest of the frosting.
- Drizzle a little more maple syrup on top if desired.